Roy Meriwether rocking a Nehru…
Listen/Download -Roy Meriwether Trio – Think
Listen/Download -Roy Meriwether Trio – Mean Greens
I hope the end of another week finds you well.
I for one will stroll into the weekend with some pep in my step.
Last week, when I was on my way to spin at the Asbury Park 45 Sessions, I noticed the harsh glare of flashing lights in my rearview mirror, as the local popo requested my presence at the side of the road. Naturally, law abiding citizen that I am, I was shocked and stunned to hailed in such a manner, but I kept my cool, pulled to the curb and presented my papers to the officer, all the while wondering what the deal was.
Not too long after that the officer informed me that I had been pulled over because I had a headlight out (which I did not know, really…) and because my inspection was- gulp – almost five months past due (which I should have known but did not).
I was let go with a warning and sent on my merry way, a tale which I relate only because I dragged my butt over to the inspection station first thing this morning and was reminded once again that sometimes the fair winds of good fortune blow in my direction.
Not only was I spared the customary wait (there was no line at all, which in NJ is almost unheard of) but when they did the inspection they failed to check my headlights, and so, a short ten minutes later, I rolled out of the inspection station, onto the highway with a fresh, purple inspection sticker affixed to my windshield.
Of course this week I’ll have to go to the dealer to get the headlight fixed (yet another part of the modern car that the owner is no longer capable of maintaining themselves), but this is – as the kids say – ‘small potatoes’, considering how much of a given week I have to spend motoring my offspring around hither and yon, and how difficult that would be if my car were taken out of commission by the automotive commissars at the DMV.
So I raise my glass of iced coffee to you, inspection station ladies and gents, and say ‘Huzzah!’.
That said, I also have another appearance coming up, Wednesday next at Master Groove, at Forbidden City (NYC, Ave A between 13th and 14th) alongside your compere DJ Bluewater and our fellow Asbury Park 45 Sessioner M-Fasis for a set of high quality funk and soul a la 45RPM. I have been considering putting together a theme set of sorts (not sure which kind yet), but if you’re in the city, and you feel the need to absorb some groovy sounds, and have nothing else to do, may I invite you to fall by and join us? I assure you that no matter how cold the night is, the heat will be brought.
I yet more news…this week saw the death of my trusty Numark portable, which served me well these last few years. The motor gave up the ghost, so It had to be replaced. I’ll let you know how the new one works out.
Now, as far as music goes this Friday, how about some more soul jazz??
Last week, as I eulogized the mighty Freddie McCoy, I made mention of the fact that he was – as a vibist – one of the purest examples of a musician working a soul jazz vibe (pun intended, sort of…).
As pianists go, were you to seek someone similarly inclined, you might be persuaded to turn your ears in the direction of Mr. Roy Meriwether.
Meriwether – who got his start out Indiana way – and his trio recorded a grip of solid soul jazz LPs for Capitol in the 60s, before splitting off into the world of private press rarity, where they would wax their sought after version of the music from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ (some of which was previously featured in Funky16Corners Radio v.64 and my guest mix for Fleamarket Funk, ‘Six Million Dollar Groove’ ) and the super rare, crate digger white whale LP ‘Nubian Lady’.
The tunes I bring you today are from his late 60s Capitol LP ‘Soul Knight’, which I bagged during my trip into the Berkshires late last year.
The LP features a number of very nice cuts, but the two I bring you today illustrate Meriwether’s powerful keyboard style.
The first is a cover of the Aretha Franklin classic ‘Think’, which is taken at a brisk pace, with some tight, funky drums on the bottom.
The second is a version of a tune by another master of soul jazz, saxophonist Eddie Harris. I included Harris’s original version of his tune ‘Mean Greens’ in a mix I did for Fufu Stew called ‘Outta Sight aka Mancini King of Monsters’. The OG is taken as a fairly relaxed pace, but the cover by the Meriwether Trio is a killer, with Roy sounding as if he was about to pop the keys off of the piano. The group gets deep inside the quasi-latin rhythm of the tune and really work it on out. If you get the chance, listen to the OG and the cover side by side to see how two great musicians create their own takes on a standard.
I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll be back next week.
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